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Keeping a Partnership ALIVE and THRIVING

What are the best methods for keeping a good business relationship?

Once you have a business relationship in place, you need to work on that relationship to keep it intact. As a matter of fact, people nurture their business relationships more than they do their families! The first and most obvious method is to follow up with questions and requests in a timely manner. This rapid response to queries does more for the relationship than sending out regular information. Customers or business partners are really impressed with response rates.

Can you imagine asking a person in a retail store a question about the product you are about to purchase and they say they will get back to you in a minute but actually finish their phone call, chat with a few others in the store and then start another project before getting around to the answer. It is likely you would walk out on such a situation. The same is true when forming solid relationships with customers and partners. The sooner you respond, the more it is likely that they will want to do business with you.

Likewise, the partner will need to nurture the relationship. Relationships are two-way streets. You cannot always give the information and solve the problems; there must be something in return for you. Usually this is in the form of sales or introduction to other potential business relationships.

There is a fine line between nurturing a business relationship and letting the partner see what is in it for them. The difference is often difficult to discern, but when you discover where it lies, the business relationship will grow even further.

What's in it for Them?

How do you make sure your alliance partner is satisfied?

Do not forget that a partner or alliance may only interested in what is in it for them. They may see you as a cash cow or they may see you as an opportunity to further their current business. Whatever the reason, they are likely to look at the alliance from their own perspective and will likely want to make sure that they have a real winner on their side. This doesn't mean that you have to lose; it simply means that you have to be aware of what motivates them into becoming an alliance partner. You will also need to be aware that they will not be motivated to help you in your business unless you are motivated to help them in theirs.

Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit

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